Pottery Studies in Limyra

The pottery discovered in Limyra is being studied as part of several contextual research projects. The time frame ranges from the Classical to the early Byzantine period. The aim is to create a complete typo-chronology of the pottery from Limyra and to trace its diachronic development regarding production, consumption, and trade.

The study of Hellenistic pottery


The Hellenistic pottery from Limyra is being studied as part of a dissertation project at the LMU Munich under the supervision of O. Hülden (OeAI). The project is reviewing the pottery within its wider context as well as studying its significance within south-western Asia Minor. Currently the finds from the excavations at the West Gate (2011-2012) are being analyzed and the pottery from the excavations around the Xñtabura-sarcophagus – a significant and largely closed burial context despite its disturbance – is being documented. The pottery finds from the so-called Terrace House excavations constitute another element of the study.

Study of the (early) imperial pottery in Limyra


In the West City of Limyra (excavations 2002-2005) a closed context provides the first opportunity to study the (early) imperial pottery from Limyra. The finds from the backfill of the foundation pit for a wall provide a terminus post/ad quem for the construction of the wall at the end of the 1st century BCE to the first quarter of the 1st century CE. Later, the narrow area between this wall and the abandoned classical city wall was filled. The pottery assemblage from this fill exhibits a composition typical of the wares and shapes of the late 1st century and the first half of the 2nd century CE and leads to the conclusion that the deposit was in use in this period. The kitchen ware is currently under study while the tableware from the find context was presented as part of a dissertation and submitted for publication in the series »Forschungen in Lykien«.

Study of the late antique-early Byzantine pottery in Limyra


A) The finds from the Theater baths

The ceramic finds from the excavations in the theater baths (2007-2010) allows a contextual evaluation of the pottery from Limyra from the late Hellenistic to the middle Byzantine period. In addition, for the first time there is also stratigraphical evidence for the study of pottery from the so-called dark centuries. The pottery finds suggest a continued use and later reuse of the bathing complex until at least the middle Byzantine period. The current work is concentrated on the digitization and creation of a database.

B) The finds from the two late antique gates in the west and east of Limyra

The finds from the excavations in the area of the late antique gates in the east and west were studied 2013-2016 in order to gain an improved chronological understanding of the two finds spots and their importance for the urban development of Limyra. The studied pottery also provides important clues about the economic network that Limyra was a part of from the 5th to 7th century CE. The abundant pottery finds include both regional and supra-regional products. While the regional workshops mainly produced utility wares, such as pitchers, cooking pots, and some slipped tableware as well as possibly also ceramic building materials (roof tiles, spacers), the eastern amphorae and a large part of the tablewares were imported; these two types were acquired from multiple different sources.

The large quantity of Pontic “Carrot Amphorae” in the area of the late antique gates is particularly striking. This type of amphora also frequently occurs in the find assemblage of the late antique levels in the 2016 excavations that were carried out as part of the project on the Hellenistic urbanization of Limyra. Their appearance is also an indicator for the influence of Pontic agricultural production in the eastern Mediterranean. This phenomenon will be further explored as part of the continued evaluation.